I mentioned to some friends that lately I’ve been feeling out of sorts, and thought maybe my thyroid levels were off. I have Hashimoto’s which means that little butterfly shaped gland in my neck is a slacker, and doesn’t work so well.
My regular physicians moved, so I was meeting a new doctor on Tuesday to discuss my medication and management.
At first I considered not writing about this meeting, but then thought… I’ve been outspoken about efforts to lift the stigma attached to mental health, so that not saying anything would be hypocritical of me.
First, let me say I like this new guy. I went into our appointment ready to be that bitchy cat lady curmudgeon, demanding he do things my way or I was out the door. It didn’t turn out quite that way.
We went over my medical history, and family health issues. We discussed my current prescription regiment for rheumatoid arthritis and Hashi’s, and there were complaints from me about annoying symptoms that I usually attribute to wonky thyroid levels.
There was mention of my current status of peri-menopause and possible symptom overlap. He reviewed past lab work results, and showed me where my levels were all within normal ranges. I explained that I felt better when my TSH levels are nearer to the low-end of the range, and he showed me where I was actually too low on some of my blood work.
Then he said that when he saw results like that, which should indicate that my thyroid was working that way it should, that maybe there was something else causing all my blahs. He began listing off a few symptoms, asking me about energy levels, sleep habits, unexplained weight gain, if I had trouble concentrating. I was smiling and nodding “yes” to everything. At this point the questions took on a more personal tone, and all I could do was look at him. I couldn’t even open my mouth to answer. I couldn’t even nod or shake my head.
He just pushed a box of Kleenex over to me. I kept apologizing and he kept telling me it was okay.
He said it… out loud… depression.
I’ve felt for a long time that I was being besieged from all sides and that this was just normal life. That I needed to suck it up and get on with what had to get done, but I simply couldn’t do it. I felt like a failure.
Even typing this, I have that tingle in my jaw and feeling like I am on the verge of tears. Not because of the diagnosis, but because someone actually listened and said, “you need help.”
I’m not upset, I’m relieved.
I’m still going to get new lab work done to test my thyroid, but I am also going to start on a low dose of daily antidepressant. I go back in two weeks for a follow-up. Hopefully my outlook will have improved by then.